Mitra named finance adviser
The state government on Tuesday appointed Amit Mitra, who has to resign as finance minister as he did not contest the Assembly polls this time, as the principal chief adviser to the chief minister and the finance department.
A notification to this effect issued by the finance department on Tuesday stated that Mitra would work as the principal chief adviser in the rank of a cabinet minister and would be entitled to emoluments, allowances and perks of a cabinet minister in the state government.
The order also specified Mitra’s roles and responsibilities, which are:
- Advise and aid the chief minister and finance department on all matters related to management of state finances.
- Represent the state government on national and international events, meetings, committees as per the desire of the state government.
- Examine important proposals/files and policy issues relating to all financial matters which are referred to him.
Senior government officials said the notification clearly suggests that though the chief minister is keeping the finance department portfolio with her and appointing Chandrima Bhattacharya as the junior minister in the department, Mitra would continue to helm the finance department.
“It is clear that Mitra will stay the face of Bengal’s finance department... The chief minister does not want to risk of losing Mitra, who has been running the show in the finance department since 2011,” said an official.
Mitra had taken oath as the finance minister after the Trinamul-led government came to power for the third consecutive term though he did not contest the polls citing ill health
“One can be appointed a minister for a period of six months without winning as MLA. Hence, Mitra was retained as the finance minister. But by November 10 (Wednesday), Mitra has to resign as that six-month tenure gets over," said a source.
Appointing Chandrima Bhattacharya as the junior minister in the finance department in addition to her responsibilities of health and urban development departments, Mamata decided to keep the finance department portfolio with her.
In another reshuffle, Mamata gave additional responsibility of the panchayat department to Pulak Roy, who already has the charge of the public health engineering department.
The berth in the panchayat department fell vacant after the death of Subrata Mukherjee on November 4.
Water resources investigation and development minister Manas Bhuniya has been given the additional responsibility of the consumer affairs department.